View Full Version : Etiquette for Destination Weddings
04-29-2010, 10:24 PM
See, that's when it's getting absurd. I think a shower a few WEEKS in advance, and a wedding gift is plenty. Not ten different parties and you're expected to bring a gift to all of them. And what would be wrong with the couple having a joint shower? Or the BRIDE asking for the pruning shears? (And I cannot be the only one who thinks asking for stuff like riding lawn mowers and big-screen LCD TVs is just OTT. I can see maybe putting ONE big-ticket item on a registry, in case you had a rich uncle who wants to go nuts or a bunch of friends who want to pool on one big gift, but asking for tons of expensive electronics and stuff seems horribly greedy to me.)
I think it would be nice (not to mention modern) to be able to put a wedding website address on the bottom of the invitation (really, we're reaching a point where I don't think there are THAT many people who cannot figure out what a website is.) Then not only could you have registry information, you could have maps and hotel information and things to do links for out of town guests.
Were I to get married, if someone came and didn't bring a gift, assuming I noticed, that's one fewer thank-you note I have to write. While it seems a little much not to even bother with a card, I wouldn't want to presume anything about someone who didn't buy a present. I don't know what they spent to get there or what their finances are like.
The only big ticket item we registered for was a set of cookware. We did it because my mother-in-law asked us to as that was what they planned to get us and wanted an idea of exactly what we wanted. They ended up buying us a more expensive set utilizing my father-in-law's discount because he works for a major department store.
I was shocked and dismayed at how hyper-critical people become the moment you decide to get married. I was told by one person that I didn't need or "deserve" any of the stuff on my registry --which literally had one item over $100 and only 2 between $50 and $100--because I was over 30 and clearly owned everything already. I have spent my life teaching in private religious schools. I did not own a pan with a lid or an actual set of dishes. The silverware I ate with prior to getting married was purchased at a Dollar Store. I was told that our wedding reception, which included a full buffet was done just to "show off". We did it because we have both been to too many weddings with a long Catholic ceremony followed by barely anything to eat at dinner time. We wanted to not starve our guests. And it cost only $16 a person including tax and gratuities--and my parents paid the bill from an inheritance from my dad's uncle (without his own children) who died four months before the wedding and told my father he would inherit it and he should pay for part of the wedding with it. So...we were trying to be good hosts and got accused of being bad ones.
You can't win when you plan a wedding. Someone is always going to be pissed off about something. Possibly even about having a good meal.
As for my MoH who didn't even give us a card---she and her husband take home around $110,000 a year in the low cost of living Midwest and she drove a whole 28 miles from home to get to the wedding. Her dress cost $96 and she wore shoes she already had and didn't get her hair or nails done. She gave us a $10 gift at the shower that the other bridesmaids threw which she only brought the chocolate fountain she already owned to and she skipped the bachelorette night which my sister-in-law had to plan by herself at the last minute. I'm fairly certain she could have spared two bucks for a card. And I would have been happy with that. Puzzled, but happy.
04-29-2010, 10:26 PM
You can't win with registries period. Personally, I think they should be abolished! :lol:
04-29-2010, 10:28 PM
It is a party for the groom and they usually register at Lowes, Home Depot, etc. The point is to receive a bunch of gifts for the man to use around the house. Lawn mowers, weed eaters, tools, etc. Basically, as a gay man, stuff I know nothing about! :lol:.
They call this a male shower in my neck of the woods. IMO, it's yet another gift grab opportunity egged on by the bridal industrial complex.:rolleyes:
04-30-2010, 12:30 AM
Yeah I think one shower is plenty. If you want to throw an engagement party that's fine but I don't think it's necessary to buy gifts for that.
I think if boyfriend and I were getting married right now the only "big ticket" item we'd have on the registry would be a patio set. His mom gave us her BBQ because she never uses it, I got my Kitchen Aid Mixer for Christmas (and LOVE it haha!), he got a nice set of pots and pans for Christmas, the furniture we have will do for now.. if people wanted to go in on a livingroom set I wouldn't complain but I wouldn't ask for it :lol:
I would love anything to do with baking. Or any of the attachments for my mixer would be good too! Not that we're getting married right at the moment :lol:
04-30-2010, 01:42 AM
You can't win with registries period. Personally, I think they should be abolished! :lol:
Well, the one problem with that, though it happens even with registries, is some people get...creative. Like the urn.
Srsly. When my friend got married, her husbands' parents basically hosted the wedding and that meant lots of their friends were invited, and sent gifts. So when I got there a couple days before the wedding some gifts had arrived and my friend and her fiance opened them, and one was...an urn. A silver antique urn. Not REALLY suited to storing ashes, but also not exactly a flower vase, an ice bucket....just...an urn. We all kind of stood there looking at it, going..."Ohhhkay." They also got seven glass pitchers and four silver ones.
That friend's now divorced. I think the urn is STILL in her ex-in-laws' attic. (Her ex's parents actually like her better than him these days and they did ask if she'd like it. She said no thanks.)
04-30-2010, 02:00 AM
I think registries are fine and I don't mind the occasional big ticket item. Sometimes people go in on one items with other friends/guests that any one of them couldn't have afforded on their own. And I do know a couple of people who put something on there that's totally pie-in-the-sky - they don't need it/expect to get it but figure if someone they know wants to spring for it, why not?
04-30-2010, 02:16 AM
One gift is fine, and it should be in line with your budget, not the bride's registry. If you send it before the wedding, it should go to the bride's residence. If you send it after, to the couple's new home. I was raised that you don't bring gifts to the actual wedding or reception, just cards.
Correct-a-mundo. I gift is NEVER required. And sending it to the bride's home (before the wedding) is so thoughtful and appreciated.
04-30-2010, 02:33 AM
Why do so many weddings have a gift table if you aren't supposed to bring the gift to the wedding then? Every wedding I've been to has had a gift table..
04-30-2010, 02:49 AM
I think they have a gift table because so many people bring the gift instead of taking the time and/or effort of mailing it ahead.
It makes good sense to mail it, if you think about it. The couple has to have someone gather the gifts, make sure the cards don't get separated, bring them to the couple so they have them when they get back from the honeymoon.
04-30-2010, 03:13 AM
A lot of these questions are answered in Miss Manners' new book:
I love her books and read them for her humor, but there's good solid information and common sense in them, althogh you might not agree with everything she decrees.
04-30-2010, 03:16 AM
It is a party for the groom and they usually register at Lowes, Home Depot, etc. The point is to receive a bunch of gifts for the man to use around the house. Lawn mowers, weed eaters, tools, etc. Basically, as a gay man, stuff I know nothing about! :lol:
The point is to have an excuse to shake their guests down for more gifts. A lawnmower? Really??????? :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
04-30-2010, 03:21 AM
So I've been invited to my first destination wedding. And this is the first time I'm unclear on Wedding Etiquette.
The scenario: My friends are getting married in the sunny south, we received an invite and said 'yes'. We are not in the wedding party. The trip will cost us about $3100.00 to go. Do we bring a gift or card or cash to the island?
For that kind of dough you shouldn't have to buy them a damn thing. The gift is your presence at their destination wedding. And a conscientious wedding couple should tell their guests as much... JMO, of course!
04-30-2010, 03:54 AM
My best friend got married in Hawaii and we used it as an excuse for a holiday. We're not really the type to just take a holiday.. so to have a reason to go was the push we needed. It was awesome.. we had so much fun and Hawaii is so beautiful. I definitely want to go back there someday.
That said I don't think we would have a destination wedding because we know that the majority of the people we would want there wouldn't be able to come because they couldn't afford it. We've talked about it and decided the only way we would do that is if we won the lottery and could afford to pay for everyone to come haha.
04-30-2010, 04:11 AM
I'm not saying he expects anyone to bring him a lawnmower or something really expensive but he will undoubtedly get a lot of gift cards and cash that he would use to purchase something expensive like a lawnmower. I am sure if we asked them they would say the point is NOT to get gifts but I would beg to differ. What exactly IS the point, then? Only her friends are coming because he has none, literally, zero.
04-30-2010, 04:40 AM
The only thing worse than a bride at a wedding is the guests. I swear, there ought to be a separate category for guestzillas.
I like registries. They tell you what a couple wants/needs. There's no sense in you wasting your money on something the bridal couple neither needs nor wants. They're suggestions only. If you don't like registries, then don't buy something from them, but most people like them. I like them and I would hate to have to guess at bringing a gift. Imagine getting fifteen hand towels, no bath towels, and twelve knives but no forks and all in different colors and styles, and then imagine the poor bridal couple who have a lot of things to do/adjust to now having to scramble and try and return useless crap that they don't have the receipt for and don't know where it came from and can't ask because it would be "rude" so they're stuck with unusable stuff until they can have a garage sell or donate it.
Also, most people these days are fairly spread out and have several groups of friends where everyone might not know the wedding party or the wedding party's family. I've been invited to weddings where the only person I know is the bride or the groom (usually coworkers) and it would have been incredibly embarrassing for me to have to ask the affianced for his/her best friend's or parent's phone number and then have to call a complete stranger and ask where they're registered. In the case of the groom, the best friend probaby doesn't know or sometimes even the parents. It's just awkward to have to ask and I think it's more rude to call up someone you don't know and have to beg for information. It's not 1830--no one has to pretend that gifts aren't expected and you are allowed to ask for what you need. It's just easier and more efficient to send the registry card with the invite. I seriously cannot believe in 2010 people still have the opinion that providing registry information is rude or consider it begging for a gift. Let's be real here. You get married, you get gifts. It's a perk of monogamy to get a blender with settings you don't understand but sound really cool.
As for showers, brides and grooms have the right to throw as many showers as they want. Whether you go to them or not is up to the invitees. My best friend had four showers because it was easier for her, but I only went to one. She had one with her co-workers at work, one for her family on her mom's side (strict Mormons who would not be comfortable around our shenanigans), one for the groom's side (his relatives lived out of town so it was more convenient for her to fly out to see them than for all of them to fly to Baton Rouge), and the Bachelorette party. From what I heard, all four of her showers were really enjoyable because the people at each one knew and liked each other. Her fiance had a honey-do shower too and loved it because men generally like tools, and why should the bride get all the fun stuff? Why shouldn't the guy register for stuff he likes too, and if they want to then go play with it, well, why not? If she can register for a set of high-cost cookware, I see no reason in the world why the groom can't register for some Craftsman drill something. You're not obligated to buy it. Or comment on it. If you think it's stupid, then buy a candle, or a toaster, or don't buy anything at all. Then again, I did give a friend $$$ towards her honeymoon and saw nothing wrong with it. When you give someone something, you should be basing it on what they want/need and not what you want/need. Otherwise, it's not really a gift so much as an obligation.
For a destination wedding, if I was going, I'd buy them something small, like an ornament from wherever their destination is with the date and their names inscribed. Even the smallest shops usually have a website and you can take care of it from your sofa. If I wasn't going, I'd probably buy them the usual for me, and that's a gift around $20 for a shower (if I'm invited) and a gift around $50 for the wedding.
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